6 Completely Legal Ways The Cops Can Screw You

I get into a lot of debates with people about why I am no fan at all of the police. No matter how many videos you show someone of the police beating a homeless man to death or articles about them cutting off bed-ridden granny's oxygen before tasing the shit out her, there are always the same generic replies. That cops are "just people" too, or that these are "isolated" incidents, to not let "one bad apple" spoil the bunch. All well and good until your wife calls the police for help and winds up being arrested and stripped naked in front a few few male deputies I suppose.

As it turns out, what police did there was perfectly legal. The departmental policy does forbid opposite-sex strip-searches, however, this was not classified as a strip-search. They were putting her on suicide watch for replying "now, or ever?" when asked about thoughts of suicide.

So yes, maybe the cops really are just people too. Which makes it all that much more important to not give police the power to pull crap like this in the first place. I don't "hate" the police as individuals, I hate the very institution itself as it stands today. Aside from the thousands upon thousands of supposedly isolated incidents where the police themselves are in fact committing actual crimes while in uniform, blatantly violating the public trust and their authority, it is now the very institution itself which legally violates the liberty of innocent citizens. It is not enough to have done nothing wrong. The police can still screw you over in a number of ways, which are all completely legal. And that my friends, is why I hate police. Not because I have some leftover teenage angst against authority figures, but because we have all become second-rate citizens who must bow before the tyranny and oppression of the police-state.

Let's go ahead now and have a look at this article put out by Cracked.com :

6 Completely Legal Ways The Cops Can Screw You

We are so lucky to be living in an era of law when it's no longer common for, say, suspects to be interrogated with live cobras tied to the ends of nightsticks. Unfortunately, there are still many colorful ways the police can royally screw you while Lady Justice shrugs.

For instance, you might be surprised to learn that right now in the U.S., it's actually legal for the cops to...

#6. Steal Your Stuff

Imagine you had your car stolen, but then fortune smiles upon you and the cops find it after the thief used it to smuggle 200 pounds of cocaine across the border, running over 30 children in the process while sexually assaulting the car itself.

You realize you're going to need to get all of its fluids replaced from a mechanic with a soft voice and gentle hands, but you still want it back, because hey, it's your car, right?

Yeeeah, there's some bad news: It has been sold to buy a new espresso machine for the station's break room.
It's called civil asset forfeiture. You probably already have heard of something like this, where the police get to seize the car and house of some drug kingpin and stick the money in the department's budget (that's criminal forfeiture).

But then there's this loophole where the police can seize anything they suspect has been used in a crime, even if it doesn't belong to the criminal, and even if there hasn't been a conviction.

"Let's take the jet. Those bootlegged DVDs from China had to get here somehow."

Then if you, as the actual owner of the goods, try to challenge it, the burden of proof is on you to prove you didn't know it was going to be used in a crime. That's civil forfeiture.

For the police, there is no legal requirement to prove "beyond reasonable doubt" that, say, your TV set was once used by a ring of Dutch pedophiles to view kiddie porn. They can simply take it, without ever giving it back, even if they never formally charge anyone for a crime.

You're Shitting Me!

In 2004, Zaher El-Ali, a Jordanian immigrant and U.S. citizen, sold a truck to a man who agreed to pay for it in installments. Before he could finish the payments though, the man was arrested for drunk driving and the truck was seized. Seeing as the car still legally belonged to Zaher (he still had the title), he demanded it back. The police refused, and possibly laughed.

Because civil forfeitures are so simple, over 40 percent of police executives admitted their budgets depend on cash from them. That means each year, those stations have a quota of forfeitures to fill and technically there is really no stopping them from filling it with YOUR Xbox.

I don't know about you guys, but to me that sounds a lot like leaving a fox guarding a hen house. Not only "can" they do this, but police departments actually have to do this in order to get the funding for shit like tasers and SWAT teams, yeah and coffee makers for the break room.

"Its not like I was pointing a gun at your head."

I am not going to quote their entire article here, but I'll do a little point by point supplemental to add a little more to what they said, as a read-along. Next on their list was...

#5. Guess Your Car's Speed and Ticket You For It

Not only are some police officers supposedly "trained" to be their very own speed-enforcement radar without need of the actual equipment, saving money for coffee-makers instead, but here's another little tidbit they didn't bring up there in the Cracked article. You can also be ticketed for doing the speed limit. You could be doing exactly 40 mph in a 40 mph zone, and a cop can still pull you and give you a ticket for "unsafe speed" if he personally deems the road conditions to not be suitable to travel at 40 mph in your vehicle. Maybe because your vehicle is larger than most, traffic is too dense, roads are wet, it's a little foggy, or whatever else the cop wants to make up.


#4. Arrest You For Drinking in a Bar

Cracked did a pretty good job explaining that one. Bu8t also keep in mind too, that you can be arrested for DWI too, even if you are not driving. It used to be, that as long as you did not have the key in the ignition, you were safe to go sleep in off in the parking lot. Not anymore. There have been a number of people arrested and convicted for sleeping in the back seat with keys in their pocket. Even defense attorneys who would try to argue that you did not nor had any intention of driving drunk, call the proposition "iffy."

#3. Arrest You For Filming Them

As pointed out in the Cracked article, you can be arrested for filming police. Sometimes even in places where filming police is not explicitly illegal too, so just because you don't live in one of the 12 states where it is illegal to film cops, don't think you are safe.

Also, be sure to check out these two related articles:

Rochester police swarm neighborhood...

Technolgy and police hypocrisy

Now, on to...

#2. Book You For Carrying Condoms

Well, Cracked covered that one pretty well, so let's move on to...

#1. Steal Your Identity

As if the hypocrisy alone weren't enough, the Cracked article doesn't really get into the inherent dangers to using someonelse's identity. First, we have to "trust" that the undercover cop won't go out and run up a nice tab on your credit to pay for tranny hookers in Reno. Even with their best intentions, it doesn't take much to imagine how some administrative slip-up could royally fuck your credit up for years to come. But better that than say, having some hitman for Columbian drug lords show up at your house and set your family on fire. After all, these cops are setting out to create some animosity, using YOUR name. Not hard to imagine that some people might be pissed off enough to come looking for John and Jane Piglover SS #'s 123-45-6789 and 987-65-4321 from Suckerpunch Way, Cleveland, Ohio.

UF student 'Googled' self and didn't like what he found: MyFoxORLANDO.com

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